March 8, 2016

To be flexible


Big companies struggle to be flexible.

It’s not that they don’t see the value. Every day they see customers switching horses for something faster, smaller, greener, more evolved, less developed – anything other than the one-size-fits-most that comes out of their system.

It’s not even that individual managers and teams can’t fracture the odd rule every now and again. But that’s not enough. Flexibility is about bending easily without breaking, modifying easily under changing circumstances. If you have to break the system to get things done, that’s not flexible. If the modification isn’t easy, that’s not flexible. And that means managers and teams just stop trying. And rigidity rules again.

Small companies can bend and modify easily. The question is whether they should?

If it’s bending with whatever wind is blowing, probably not. If it’s bending and modifying to keep pace with the world, that’s the way to the winning post.

Skippy strategy: Bend without breaking, modify to change.